Friday, December 31, 2010

Tweet! Tweet! December 2010

Ringing in the new year with raspberry vodka, fresh pineapple juice and club soda (and a raging bonfire!) #2011 Friday, December 31, 2010 9:10:35 PM via ÜberTwitter

I could be in a fancy dress at a fancy party, but I'm happily sitting on the deck at the Lake House watching fireworks with my hubby. #2011 Friday, December 31, 2010 9:04:32 PM via ÜberTwitter

Fireworks are a lot like gambling. Expensive, dangerous, quick, bright lights, noise, then nothing. #2011 Friday, December 31, 2010 8:52:40 PM via ÜberTwitter

Crashed so hard she cracked and dented her helmet! Friday, December 31, 2010 5:32:48 PM via ÜberTwitter

Maddie (6): "We found a bug!" (Followed by lots of banging noises) "We squished it and buried it in the carpet!" Friday, December 31, 2010 3:54:59 PM via ÜberTwitter

Running on fumes. Send gasoline. Wednesday, December 29, 2010 5:37:56 PM via ÜberTwitter
RT @mexatua: It is not wanting to win that makes you a winner; it is refusing to fail.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 11:28:23 AM via ÜberTwitter

Me too! RT @CindyDSullivan: I am not short....I am fun sized! Tuesday, December 28, 2010 9:08:32 PM via ÜberTwitter

At #Lakers vs #Spurs game. I'm not in 3rd row this time. Instead of asking if I want a drink, usher asked if I had guns or knifes in my bag. Tuesday, December 28, 2010 7:47:02 PM via ÜberTwitter

RT @LeadToday If you don't like the way 2010 has turned out then remember, it's YOU that must do something different in 2011. Monday, December 27, 2010 8:14:08 PM via Twitterrific

you still have almost a week to make amazing things happen for your 2010 - don't stop now. RT @barefoot_exec Monday, December 27, 2010 9:06:24 AM via Twitterrific

The problem is that new stuff doesn't yet have a spot RT @AmyDoubleYou Is there any house dirtier than the Day After Christmas house? No. Sunday, December 26, 2010 9:16:43 PM via Twitterrific

Merry Christmas! RT @BrookDMatthews Merry Christmas Hammers! You guys amaze me.

Looking forward to celebrating with you all in AZ. Saturday, December 25, 2010 7:41:13 PM via Twitterrific

Old people's houses are, um....dusty. (That was me trying to be polite). Friday, December 24, 2010 3:37:48 PM via ÜberTwitter

I just spent the last two hours skateboarding up and down the street. It totally counts as my cardio for the day. I rocked it! #skateordie Friday, December 24, 2010 3:16:27 PM via ÜberTwitter

Brooke (3) just ate FIVE pancakes, an egg, and piece of bacon. She washed it down with a large OJ. Diners rock! Friday, December 24, 2010 12:41:19 PM via ÜberTwitter

“I just like to smile. Smiling's my favorite.” - Buddy the Elf Friday, December 24, 2010 8:33:45 AM via ÜberTwitter

MUST-watch: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg on why we don't have many women in C-level positions. Wednesday, December 22, 2010 1:50:40 PM via HootSuite

I got some very interesting advice: "Lower your expectations of other people" to find more joy and avoid disappointment. Good idea? Thursday, December 23, 2010 9:54:29 PM via web

RT @ihackinjosh: Dear kids, There is NO Santa Claus. Those presents are from your parents. "With love, WikiLeaks" Thursday, December 23, 2010 1:22:23 PM via ÜberTwitter

My husband has no idea how double sided tape works. #christmaspresents #fail Wednesday, December 22, 2010 9:59:42 PM via ÜberTwitter

Reversing my car into the garage is a terror inducing task. I nearly have a heart attack each time I do it. Wednesday, December 22, 2010 6:08:04 PM via ÜberTwitter

RT @BreakingNews Obama signs repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy, gays and lesbians can serve openly Wednesday, December 22, 2010 1:01:21 PM via Twitterrific

RT @DalaiLama cultivating positive mental states like kindness and compassion leads to better psychological health and happiness. Wednesday, December 22, 2010 12:38:45 PM via Twitterrific

A customer just emailed me about this cool new Internet thing called "Twitter." In his defense, he's old. #Twitter @ev Wednesday, December 22, 2010 12:35:56 PM via Twitterrific

A letter to my six year old daughter: Monday, December 20, 2010 9:13:56 PM via Twitterrific

I showed Maddie (6) how to use a new iPad Math app. Now, she's teaching her sister (3) how to add. #sisters Sunday, December 19, 2010 5:30:27 PM via ÜberTwitter

Oat bars with chocolate, walnuts, and homemade carmel sauce! RT @Cooking_Light Any Sunday afternoon bakers out there? What's in the oven? Sunday, December 19, 2010 4:31:33 PM via Twitterrific

Obama: "It is disappointing that common sense did not prevail today. But my administration will not give up on the DREAM Act." RT @aterkel Saturday, December 18, 2010 7:49:24 PM via Twitterrific

RT @ActuallyNPH Don't Ask, Don't Tell REPEALED! So proud of Congress for making the right decision. Now all soldiers can serve w/integrity. Saturday, December 18, 2010 6:06:05 PM via ÜberTwitter

Our first family volunteering event @heb Feast of Sharing. Saturday, December 18, 2010 11:51:30 AM via ÜberTwitter

Another reason to go veg! RT @YahooNewsUpshot Undercover investigation of Smithfield Foods reveals factory farm horrors: Friday, December 17, 2010 7:43:16 PM via Twitterrific

Looooong, but very fun day. Friday, December 17, 2010 7:22:31 PM via Twitterrific

Six year old. Friday, December 17, 2010 5:05:20 PM via ÜberTwitter

My baby girl turns SIX YEARS OLD today. In related news, her feet are huge! Friday, December 17, 2010 7:09:15 AM via ÜberTwitter

Maddie picked McD's for her bday dinner tomorrow, and I suggested "somewhere nicer" so she picked Whataburger instead. Thursday, December 16, 2010 9:55:39 PM via ÜberTwitter

More kids are turning vegetarian. Are yours? #parenting Thursday, December 16, 2010 10:28:58 AM via Retweeted by you and 1 other

My husband just demonstrated his power work negotiating skills. He's a master! Wednesday, December 15, 2010 5:25:11 PM via ÜberTwitter

Maddie performed the "Polar Express" with 100 of her fellow Kindergarteners today. She rocked it! I shed a proud mama tear. Wednesday, December 15, 2010 11:39:11 AM via ÜberTwitter

Maddie and I made paper dolls. It took 3 tries but we did it! #youtubecanteachyouanything Tuesday, December 14, 2010 7:30:52 PM via ÜberTwitter

Maddie's 1st criticism (but likely not the last) of my appearance: "Mom, you look weird in that leather jacket." Monday, December 13, 2010 5:26:57 PM via ÜberTwitter

Just barely avoided a head on collision with a guy driving on the wrong side of highway intersection! #heartattackcity Monday, December 13, 2010 3:20:52 PM via ÜberTwitter

Whether you have a positive or negative attitude is completely your choice and it's a mighty important choice at that. Sunday, December 12, 2010 5:15:02 PM via HootSuite

Mine too! RT @Buns_In_My_Oven Mine too! :) RT @BridgetBarnlund: my husband is pretty darn spectacular!... Sunday, December 12, 2010 10:03:47 AM via Twitterrific

Maddie's birthday party was a success, and I'm exhausted. Saturday, December 11, 2010 5:25:05 PM via Twitterrific

@AngryJulie I'd love to see a pic of a leg lamp in your window. My husband would love one too, and display it with pride. Friday, December 10, 2010 9:57:06 PM via Twitterrific in reply to AngryJulie

Tomorrow is Maddie's 6th B-Day party. We'll be painting pottery. It's better than one of those bouncy places! Friday, December 10, 2010 9:46:53 PM via Twitterrific

While in the middle of a run today, I thought of you @cindydsullivan, and ran back home to put on a stronger SPF. See you at NSM! Friday, December 10, 2010 3:27:35 PM via Twitterrific

Do you know how many hot water heaters you have in your house? I didn't know until they both leaked: Friday, December 10, 2010 1:58:01 PM via Twitterrific

My daughter could be Renesmee! #breakingdawn #twilight Thursday, December 09, 2010 8:24:36 PM via Twitterrific

An EXCELLENT article for families! RT @WebMD: 7 Secrets of Low-Stress Families Thursday, December 09, 2010 2:26:06 PM via Twitterrific

Much thx to my dad who taught me how to turn off the various pipes & main water supply 20 yrs ago. Life skills, they r handy in emergencies! Thursday, December 09, 2010 9:20:19 AM via Twitterrific

I have TWO leaky water heaters. Was it mean of me to tell my plumber that Christmas is cancelled because he's charging me $2,000? Thursday, December 09, 2010 9:13:17 AM via Twitterrific

My house is falling apart. I think I have a hex. Send sage. Thursday, December 09, 2010 9:08:25 AM via Twitterrific

What do you think the kids will rather have for Xmas: a new hot water heater OR toys? Thursday, December 09, 2010 7:24:58 AM via ÜberTwitter

Damn hot water heater is leaking. Also, it's in the attic! Apparently our home designer has never heard of a concept called GRAVITY. Wednesday, December 08, 2010 10:15:11 PM via ÜberTwitter

This is the 2nd day in a row that I've fed my kids bread with peanut butter for dinner. #motheroftheyear Wednesday, December 08, 2010 6:42:07 PM via ÜberTwitter

I think Brooke (3) can read. Perhaps it's a fluke, but I'm shocked! Tuesday, December 07, 2010 6:22:55 PM via ÜberTwitter

A VERY personal message from Santa. If you're a parent, you MUST do this! Monday, December 06, 2010 11:00:21 PM via Tweet Button

I want to go back to the old days when the purpose of having kids was to get help with doing chores. Today kids are good for nothing! Monday, December 06, 2010 7:02:32 PM via ÜberTwitter

It's sorta cute that Zak still prints out Yahoo maps for directions even though we both have GPS in our cell and an actual GPS device. Sunday, December 05, 2010 4:45:43 PM via ÜberTwitter

Me: "We need to stop by the pharmacy before we go home." Brooke: "Yea! We get to go to a FARM!" 2:33 PM Dec 5th, 2010 via ÜberTwitter

Maddie lost another (#7) tooth tonight and wrote a note to the tooth fairy asking for $10. It's in Spanglish! 10:20 PM Dec 4th, 2010 via ÜberTwitter

Chips and cake for dinner! 7:48 PM Dec 4th, 2010 via ÜberTwitter

@GinakBrown I keep Maddie's baby teeth hidden in a drawer in a baggie. It's actually kinda gross to look at them! 9:43 AM Dec 4th, 2010 via Twitterrific in reply to GinakBrown

Tip: Give your kids the benefit of your singular focus. Wrap up your work so you can enjoy the weekend. #parenting RT @carlayoung 9:28 AM Dec 4th, 2010 via Twitterrific

Oh so much to tweet about, but sadly I can't. Good thing nobody reads me anyway! 9:52 AM Dec 3rd, 2010 via ÜberTwitter

Zak gave me the best compliment, "you're not very good at getting food in a drive-thru." because I rarely do it! 8:12 PM Dec 2nd, 2010 via Twitterrific
@johncornyn Please put party politics aside and do what's right for Texas--vote to pass the Dream Act. Texas children deserve it! 5:00 PM Dec 1st, 2010 via web

If you have a job without aggravations, you don't have a job. - Malcolm Forbes 3:10 PM Dec 1st, 2010 via HootSuite Retweeted by you and 21 others

There is no mistake that Brooke (3) is a native Texan with her developing southern accent and a "yee-haw" when she's having fun. 8:17 AM Dec 1st, 2010 via ÜberTwitter

Cracked Helmet

Maddie was riding her scooter down the lake house driveway and crashed so hard (face first) that she actually cracked and dented her helmet.

The driveway goes from black top to dirt road with rocks. Maddie learned a great physics lesson in momentum and surface speed!

She has two skinned knees and palms, but a fully intact noggin and all (well, mostly all) of her teeth. Thank God for helmets!

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Edited to add:

This was Maddie's rockin' outfit when she crashed. Had she not had on those leggings, she would have really skinned her knees pretty bad. I didn't see her inital speed that resulted in the crash, but I did see her hit the rocks, and then a mess of tutu and legs up in the air as she flew up and over her scooter handle bars.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Wrapping presents with my favorite elf (and some cocktails). Ho ho ho!
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile


When I don't forget to move him, our Elf on a Shelf is the most popular dude in our house every morning. Today's hiding place, in our poinsettia, was a huge hit.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Friday, December 17, 2010

Maddie is SIX

Dear Maddie,

Today you are six years old (you weigh 41 lbs and are 44 inches tall). Happy Birthday! The past twelve months have been filled with developmental changes for you, and most importantly, you started kindergarten. We are very proud of your SEVEN lost teeth, and your ability to speak Spanish through all those holes in your mouth.

Your first semester of Kindergarten have been exhausting for you. Sometimes when we get home from school, you fall asleep on the couch. You still go to bed around 7:30, and sleep until 6:30 everyday. Oh, what I'd do for 11 hours of sleep everyday!

(from your holiday school party that was on your b-day--with your friends and your Kindergarten teacher)

After school, you go to a tumble/dance/cheer place and just had your second ever dance recital. It was, um, pretty darn funny. You also did this tumble routine all by yourself (and were the first one to do it) in front of parents and "big" kids. I was proud how very brave you are.

This year you've really turned a corner in your "shy" type behavior. There are still times when you're timid, but we've really pushed you last year to speak up and ask for what you need. After all, in life you must ask for what you want! Our loving pressure worked, and you have been checking into your own dentist/doctor's appointments, purchasing small items, greeting adults, happily "performing" in school/dance events, and always jumping right into a party:

Your favorite past time is to draw and color. Creating cards for people is also something that is high on your priority list lately. Your handwriting is now officially better than mine, and you're starting to read in Spanish (although I'm still not sure how much you're comprehending). You do your homework most nights without complaining, and tell us you "forget" to do it during your after school care time (when you're supposed to!).

We had your 6th birthday party last week, I couldn't have been more proud of how you entertained your girlfriends (no boys were invited this year) and were the hostess with the mostest. It has been pretty clear for a long time now that you're a "leader" in the sense that most seem to watch you and then do what you say. Sometimes people call this being "bossy," but coming from your mother (another "leader") I think it's okay. You have many friends (as evidenced by your big birthday party), but you mostly talk about a couple of very good friends--Gianna, Lindsay, Molly, and Mia B.

Even though you have many friends, your favorite people are definitely still me, your dad and Brooke. I'm going to take advantage of that for as long as possible because I know it will not last much longer. Whenever we offer to go places and do things on the weekend, you typially say, "I'd just rather stay home and play with you guys." We try to do this as much as possible, and still enjoying doing absolutely nothing at the Lake House at least once or twice a month:

While your dad and I still rock, your sister is #1 in your book, your partner in crime, and your best friend. You two argue on occasion, and no one else can push your buttons like Brooke, however, you have a fierce loyalty to each other. There has been quite a bit of whispering, scheming, and giggling lately, and telling us "we're not doing anything" when we ask what's going on. You almost always make Brooke do that very thing on your behalf that you know will cause the most trouble. For example, the time you two snuck out of the house earlier this month. I'm sure there will be many more of those occasions, but God, it scared the crap out of me!
At least you're in it together, and I'm grateful everyday that you have a sister. Every. Single. Day. (You're welcome!)

I love you so much!



P.S. You still suck your thumb ("but not at school," you say) and it drives me CRAZY. You like to wipe your slobbery thumb on me when I complain about it, and it totally grosses me out.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Guess who will be SIX tomorrow?

Grandpa and Grandma Mary sent these beautiful flowers.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Advanced math?

I need the feedback of my teacher friends. Take a look at this school assignment that Maddie (who is in Kindergarten) came home with:

All the students in her class work on independently completing a packet of worksheets during the day. They typically do these when other kids are still working on the previous class assignment (aka to kill time and keep them quiet). This worksheet was one of several that covered addition. This was also the only one that Maddie did wrong, but how she did it is what is fascinating (and confusing) to me.
In all the problems (except the very first one), she did subtraction in what looks to me like an algebra type equation. She told us she did this in her head. What do you think about this? How would she have drawn these conclusions?
Is she, in fact, the smartest child that ever walked the face of the planet? Should I send her to Harvard next year?

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Hot Water Heater Leak

Confession: I now have to color my hair to cover my grays. For the past several years, I've just been pulling them out, but now I have too many to pull. I blame my job. Or my kids. Or my husband. Or my house. I have to blame something, because it's certainly not due to the fact that I'm getting older. NO! Never.

Just last night I tried this new hair color where you just paint over the gray hairs, instead of coloring your whole head, which could be damaging, I suppose. After 10 minutes, you're supposed to rinse out the color, or your head will explode, or something. I'm standing in the bathroom, roots full of dye, and I can't get the water in the shower to get hot. It normally takes 60-90 seconds, but it had been minutes.

My hair continues to cook, and may turn purple if I don't get the dye out.

I tell Zak, but he doesn't seem to care because it's the Fantasy Football playoffs, and NOTHING is more important than setting his line-up right now.

I still stand there, naked, with hair dye to get his attention. We've been together for over 18 years, and that trick doesn't work anymore. (I've officially been with him longer than I've been without him? Someone check my math, we met in September 1993. That probably deserves another blog post or more sweetness...later).

I am too chicken to get into a cold shower, so I rinse my hair in cold water in the bathtub.

At this point, I'm a little panicked, and tell Zak again, WE HAVE NO HOT WATER. He finally gets off the couch and turns on the kitchen faucet. He looks at me like I'm a crazy person. "This water is hot. Really hot."

"Okay, but it's not hot in the master bath, and I HAVE A HAIR ISSUE!!" He walks up stairs to the bathroom and confirmed that the water, in fact, is cold.

We go to the Girls bathroom, and the water is hot.

At this point, I am very confused, and I start freaking out that we may have a pipe leaking that runs from the hot water heater to our master bathroom. Because something like that has happened before too. I start looking for running water, you know, down the walls, on my brand new carpet and wood floors, in closets, under sinks, outside (front yard, back yard, side yard). I thankfully see nothing.

Zak climbs into the attic, where our hot water heater is located, to see if he can see anything abnormal. (Which by the way, WHAT? Why would anyone put the hot water heater in the attic? Where it could leak down because of this little scientific fact called GRAVITY).

"Ummm, Amanda, come up here."

"Uh, no, it's way too scary up there. And cold."

"There is water pouring out of the top of the water heater."

"OH MY GOD! IS IT ALL OVER THE FLOOR? WHERE IS THE WATER GOING?!" (I freak out and start grabbing towels having a flashback of the panty in the washer incident.)

Zak tells me that there is a drip pan, that is quickly filling up, but there is no water on the floor. I clamour up the rickety attic stairs to look.

The water is coming out of the top of the hot water heater, and running down the sides of it into the drip pan. I reach up and turn off the water pipe that is feeding to it. Righty tighty, righty tighty, righty tighty.

We STILL can't figure out why half of the house still has hot water, but the other half doesn't. We go to bed. Zak wakes up and takes a HOT shower in the girls' bathroom. We are still confused, but assume the water that remained in the tank was still getting hot, but just not re-filling.

I call the plumber in the morning, and he comes over to take a look. He says to me from the attic, "M'am, looks like both of your water heaters are leaking. One isn't bad, but it will begin to leak more and more as time goes on."
Me: turns head to the side like a confused dog. "Did you say BOTH water heaters? We have two?"

Plumber: points to the second water heater approximately ten feet from the known leaker, "Yes, m'am, you have two."

Well, that explains the fact that some faucets still make hot water. Also, I do have a college degree, but I'm still breathtakingly stupid.

The plumber then told me that we have a too high water pressure that leads to the house which is probably the reason for the problems, for which he can install a regulator to reduce the pressure ($), also these puppies are over ten years old ($$), and we should replace both of them now ($$$), and you should probably cancel Christmas, and your family vacation, because you're about to write me a check for a whole lotta cash ($$$$). Then I started to see stars and my bank account draining, and almost fall down the rickety attic stairs. Because I'm old with grey hairs.

Kids, the morals of the story are:

1. Know how to turn the water off at any location--under the sinks, in the attic, and the main water supply to your home. My dad taught me how to do this twenty years ago, and am eternally grateful that he thought "a girl" would ever need to know basic plumbing.

2. Check your major appliances BEFORE you spend any money for Christmas presents and Birthday parties for your child.

3. If your husband plays fantasy football, make sure he wins, because Mama Needs Two New Hot Water Heaters. (GO ZAK!)

4. Don't go to college because it's good for nothin'. Instead, go to a trade school. You could also marry a tradesman because they're handy and make tons of dough (and are usually hunky--I'm thinking of you Jack and Alan!).

5. RENT.


I think Madison should use this picture to audition for the role of Renesmee Cullen in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn"

(If you don't know what I'm talking about, you are SO not with it!)

My girl has got some crazy looking teeth right now!

Sunday, December 05, 2010


On a typical Saturday and Sunday morning the Girls wake up around 6:30 a.m. Zak or I walk them downstairs, get them a drink and some dry cereal, turn on a movie, and we go back to bed. for a few extra Zzz's. The Girls play downstairs and watch their movie for about an hour before we get up and start our day.

Today I walked downstairs and Maddie proudly told me that she and Brooke put on their jackets and shoes and went outside in THE FRONT YARD. Not only did they unlock and unchain the door and go OUTSIDE, but they CROSSED THE STREET, and "peeped" into the neighbors house.


They were proud of themselves!


They looked both ways before the crossed the street.




Zak and I were asleep and heard NONE of this. I wouldn't have even noticed that they had left the house had Maddie not told on herself.

What if.....?


Saturday, December 04, 2010

Bounce Houses...

Never lose their appeal. Also, note the crazy outfits that the girls came up with for the day!
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Tweet! Tweet! November 2010

I'm not sure if Twitter is going to keep all my tweets forever and ever. Because they are often little snippets about my very glamorous and exciting daily life (and aren't good enough stories to make a blog post), I will preserve them on this blog monthly. Behold! November 2010:

Amanda_V Amanda_V
New addition to #bucketlist: live and work internationally before the kids go to college. I only have 12 yrs to make this one true!
28 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
RT @RevRunWisdom Having a family is definitely a school of duties, but it is absolutely founded on love.
28 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
Trimming three trees (well, two are actually sticks).
28 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
Whoever decided that kids need a week off of school for Thanksgiving can come over and babysit, feed, and clean up after my monsters. #tired
28 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
Can I outsource teaching my kid to ride a bike? #newbusinessidea
27 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
Maddie's training wheels are coming off night now. I need a moment of silence and lots of prayers!
27 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
Going to a real Christmas Tree Farm out in the country! Yee haw.
27 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
It's 28 degrees in Bandera, TX and it feels like -28 degrees to me. I'm not used to or prepared for cold weather!
26 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
Watch out...I'm dreaming big. Real BIG.
26 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
Mini apple pies in ramekins!
25 Nov Favorite Reply Delete

Amanda_V Amanda_V
Taking a 3 yo to a ceramics studio to paint was a very dumb idea. The 5 yo didn't do well either. Also expensive.
24 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
Zak didn't shave for work today. He seemed to think this is a very big deal. I say that no one would ever notice (or care). What say you?
24 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
Despite a lingering mild cold, I'm feeling very much in the holiday spirit today. Working hard this year to emphasize LOVE over presents.
24 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
I do think that roasted ham with brown sugar is delish, btw, but I'm choosing to be thankful for veggies this year.
23 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
My idea of a #meatlessthanksgiving has been vetoed. The natives are forcing me to buy a dead pig and smother it in brown sugar.
23 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
Brooke is exactly the person you DONT want to sit by in the movies. She's constantly narrating and cheering for the good guys.
22 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
Big days ahead for Maddie: Bday party 12/11, Kinder holiday performance 12/15, Kinder Christmas party 12/17, and her actual Bday 12/17.
22 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
Brooke (3) just yelled at me for "buying slippery floors" after she just fell down in the living room.
22 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
Family pictures were a success!
21 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
We're getting our family pictures taken (by a pro) in the morning. The last time we did was in Nov 07 when kids were 3yo and 8 months!
20 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
Brooke (3yo) secretly smuggled this into her bad during nap time. She didn't eat any, but wanted it close by.
20 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
It always amazes me how my kids can be terrible terrors one night & sweet little angels just 24 hours later. Ah, the joys of parenting.
18 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
Brooke can color in the lines, but ONLY when she feels like it.
16 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
Turned the heater on for the first time tonight. Mid November! #texasliving
13 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
Just being here reduces my stress level 100 percent. Might just be my favorite place on earth.
13 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
As if i needed another reason to be a #vegetarian.Fast food is gross.RT@Jezebel What Fast Food Really Looks Like
12 Nov Favorite Reply Delete

Amanda_V Amanda_V
I'm bowling (not very well).
8 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
Brooke is not happy that I beat her at Candyland. #threeyearoldsaresorelosers
7 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
FLOOR seats at the #spurs vs #rockets game. 'Cause that's how I roll (Um, not really, these seats were gifts).
6 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
About to eat my first vegetarian hot dog. Wish me luck!
6 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
My mismatched children decorate the yard with mismatched crap.
6 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
Three year olds are crazy people. And crazy makers.
5 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
Maddie learned all about Hanukkah today at school. I'm cool with it, but is that normal to learn about any religion in public schools?
4 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
Big thanks to @askamex who sent me new credit cards via next day mail after I reported my stolen purse. Now that is cust servce! #amexrocks
3 Nov Favorite Reply Delete

Amanda_V Amanda_V
"Don't lick your sister!" (my parenting mantra of the night)
3 Nov Favorite Reply Delete

Amanda_V Amanda_V
Maddie is trying to pull out a loose tooth so she can get some cash to buy a book she wants. Now that's innovative!
3 Nov Favorite Reply Delete

Amanda_V Amanda_V
RT @kidshoppe: 5 Simple Etiquette Tips Every Child Needs To Know
2 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
Feeling very sensitive today. Perhaps I'm still reeling from yesterday's purse snatching. I'm spooked.
2 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
Zak is wishing horrible things on the guy that stole my purse, and I am thinking he just needed money to feed his family. #naive
1 Nov Favorite Reply Delete
Amanda_V Amanda_V
To the guy that just busted my car window and stole my purse and wallet: I believe in karma. #robberysucks
1 Nov Favorite Reply Delete

Swarovski crystals

Every year since Maddie's birth, my dad and Susan have given us the annual Swarovski Christmas Ornament. After Brooke was born, we started getting two. They are so absolutely beautiful and precious to me that I don't let the girls go near them. I always hang them at the very top of the tree, and every year Maddie begs to hold one or hang it. Because I'm a terrible and mean mother, I never let her.

To be honest, I'm not even sure if I'm ever going to give them to the girls. I should make some sort of rule before they can get them...perhaps it's when they purchase their first house....?...when I die...?...when they have a child...?

This year, to defray the "I wanna touch them" argument, I hung all eight of our crystals in the window off of our formal living room. The light catches the ornaments and produces "sparkles" all over the room.

These crystals are one of my most favorite holiday traditions. Thanks Dad and Susan!

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

He's baaacckkk!

Elfie, our Elf on the Shelf, is back to watch over The Girls.

He got into some very crazy places last year. Maddie and Brooke race downstairs every morning to see who can find him first.

Last night, Brooke was misbehaving, and Maddie quitely whispered "Elfie" to her and Brooke instantly stopped.

Power to Elfie!
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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas tree farm

After a long tractor hay ride, we got two Charlie Brown potted trees and a wreath. We decided to not cut down a tree this year, and stick with our artificial tree.

I thought it was particularly funny to see Zak's big ole truck with two puny trees.

Maddie has big plans for her tree, and wants to keep it forever.
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Friday, November 26, 2010

We do our best planning out here the lake house.

Bon fire burning, music playing, quiet lake in the background, babies sleeping, and drinks in hand.

What's next for our family? Our adventure is still unfolding.
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Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Little Mermaid

A balloon artist came by our table at breakfast and did AMAZING work. I've never seen such detail in a balloon before. (Also, Ariel has a nice rack!)

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Snow white

Look at the Snow White! Most amazing balloon artist ever!
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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Maddie's first letter to Santa

Dear Santa for Christmas I want more
1. Stuffed animals
2. Jewelry (and "not the fake stuff with Hello Kitty on it...REAL jewelry," she said)
3. Puppy (edited by me to add that if Santa brings her a dog, I will tell her the TRUTH about where Santa really lives--NO DOG!)
4. A Bouquet of flowers
5. Scooter
6. Beds for people who don't have them
7. Jingle bell rock
8. Winter gloves and hat

(Zak and I told her how to spell most of the words, but she's getting very good at writing and spelling.)
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Thursday, November 18, 2010


Maddie made this sign in the midst of a major tantrum yesterday. Not only was she hysterically crying (over something so random I've forgotten), she was hurling insults and threatening to not be our daughter/sister anymore. She was beyond her tired level and earlier had laid down across our two kitchen bar stools while doing homework.

I can look back with perspective today (after 24 hours of calm), but it was particular painful for me, Zak, and Brooke. The past few months have been mostly tantrum free, and we thought she'd outgrown them.

I read somewhere that kids only do this when they feel very comfortable and safe enough to unload. I guess this makes me a good mother...? Maybe?
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Little Native

Brooke's school celebrated Thanksgiving today. Her school "feasted" and her class dressed up as a Native Americans. The other 4 year old class dressed as pilgrims.

Thanksgiving is not really that easy to explain to kids!
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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dad and Mad

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Lake House bon fire

Maddie and Brooke wanted a "camp out" which is code for camp fire.

It's a peaceful night at the lake. When I walked into the house and peeked out the back window to the lake, I felt like my ever growing to-do list was erased.

Life is good. Too busy most times, but very good.
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Monday, November 01, 2010


Maddie's after school care isn't in a great neighborhood, but I wouldn't consider it a bad one either. It's right next to her school in an older section of town off a busy neighborhood road.

Whenever I pick up Maddie from her after school care, I always pull up along the curb, take my keys, lock the door, walk 20 steps to the door, two more steps to the desk, sign her out, then walk into the gym to find her.

Today, I was late. Only about 30 minutes later than normal, but it was closing time. The sun was shining, and it was an hour from dusk. Because it was closing time, Maddie was sitting at the front desk playing with her teachers and another kid.

I was in the building for maybe 90 seconds, and I was less than 10 yards away from my car. 90 seconds is enough time for someone to shatter my company car's driver side window reach through the car, and grab my purse. I heard nothing.

I walked out of the building chatting with Maddie, and I realized I hadn't hugged her yet. I stopped, and bent over to give her a hug and kiss. She looked tired, and I caressed her face, said sorry I was later than normal, and asked if she had a good day at school. She whined for a second about how tired she was, then I turned to the driver's side, and saw glass all over the floor.

I quickly realized that my window had been shattered, and then looked to see my purse was gone from where I left it on the passenger seat in plain view. My phone was still there. Immediately concerned for our safety, I told Maddie to go back inside the building.

I don't recall much of what happened next, but I looked around to see nothing but normalcy. Cars driving by, other children getting picked up from the day care center next door, people out jogging, and my head was just spinning.

I quickly asked a man who was jogging by with his baby in a stroller if he saw anything. Nope. I then saw a young man sitting in his car watching me from across the street. He had a perfect vantage point. I yelled across the street and asked if he saw any thing. He MUST have...there is no way he wouldn't have seen it happen. He expressed concern, pulled his car closer to me, and then said he'd go look down the street.

In retrospect, I think he was the look out for the guy who broke the window and stole my purse. I can't be sure, but I have a feeling just by the way he reacted.

Inside my purse was my favorite wallet with about $25 in cash, credit cards, my driver's license, a DVD I had just rented, and my favorite 20 lipsticks. It was a new purse too.

It took the police exactly 45 minutes to show up. The officer told me "I was prioritized" after they figured out it was a non-emergency. During that time I was able to cancel all my credit cards, and issue a fraud alert to my identity.

At least I still have my phone, at least I wasn't confronted or car jacked. At least we are safe. Brooke wasn't with me and just so happened to be getting picked up by Zak (because I was running late). Maddie didn't witness anything (other than a pissed off mama) to scare her.

Before bed Maddie told me she was scared that the robbers would come to our house. She figured out that they have our address, but I assured her that the men who stole from me probably just needed to buy some food for their kids or get some gas so they could get to work.

It was stupid for me to leave my purse out in the open, and I've been called naive more than once before, however I still believe in the good in people.

I also believe in karma.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloweeen 2010

Halloween 2010 was tons of fun for The Girls. They've been counting down the days, and this year we had more fun than ever. After some initial fright over a neighbor's too scary costume, the girls warmed up to trick or treating. However, like last year, they tired after about 1.5 hours of door to door candy hunting.

Brooke was a witch and Maddie dressed as Ariel "The Little Mermaid."

I dressed like a cat with too much eye make-up. As usual, Zak didn't dress up, but I think he felt left out and may do it next year. After enough day time/dusk trick or treating, we stayed out for few more hours giving out candy. It was during that time that I discovered what my true mission for parenting girls....don't let my teenage girl dress like a trampy ______ for Halloween. I was shocked to see what some of these teenagers were wearing! Also, we need to institute a national Trick or Treating age limit. My vote will be for TWELVE. Once you have a "teen" in the age, you're too old to go door to door. Maddie was much more brave this year, and for the first time, entered our neighbor's "haunted house" with just a little bit of encouragement. Brooke screamed, "there is NO WAY I'm going in there!" much to the amusement of all the adults. Last year, Maddie wouldn't have even dreamed of going to get candy from someone dressed like that scary ghost. This year, she encouraged Brooke to join her. Most of the time, The Girls were more scared of dogs than any costumes. I'm so thankful that they have each other to participate in such great traditions like Trick or Treating!

Halloween 2010

Maddie was a mermaid and Brooke was a witch.
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Brooklyn has been found

Brooklyn has been found and returned to her family.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Mama came to town and we done drank some wine

My mom (aka Nina) came for a visit last weekend and we had a great time with the girls and then we ditched them to go drink some wine in the Texas Hill Country. It was AWESOME and you should totally come for a visit and get drunk with me!

Zak and I have known about these wineries just about an hour north of our house, but have never gone for a visit. Texas is the #2 producer of wine and grower of grapes in the nation (behind California), and growing at a rapid rate. I was happily surprised to learn it was ranked as the number one vacation destination by the NY Times. I know you don't believe me, so go take a look yourself!

The day could not have been more beautiful, sunny and 68 degrees with a light breeze. My mom had mapped out all the wineries she wanted to go to, and it just so happened to be the first weekend of the Texas Wine Trail! We got some awesome discount coupons and went exploring down the road. I ended up buying a ton of wine, and need to have a party to drink it all up!
Towards the end of our trip, I started to finally take pictures.

A Texas oak tree in the middle of some vines:


Me and my mom:

We went to about 10 different places, but Torre di Pietra was by FAR the best one and can't be missed. Ask for the sassy red-haired lady, she'll educamate you on wine...even if you think you already know everything (mom!). Also, bring along a designated driver!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fall Festival Fair Days

'Tis the season for Fall Festivals and other Halloweenie type activities.

We went to Brooke's school fair last weekend and had a miserable time. Really, the girls were so whiney and full of complaints that we nearly left after five minutes. Part of the reason might have been because Maddie is recovering from Strep Throat, but seemed to be feeling better after a few days on antibiotics.

I was able to capture a few smiles on film after multiple threats along the lines of "we're doing this for you me, mom and dad would rather be laying on the couch watching football today."

Snowcones are always a good way to cool down a hot kid, and bribe her for good behavior:

Pumpkin Patch poses may be the hardest photo to catch (aside from the ever challenging Christmas picture):

"Carni" Rides are a sure thing provided your child doesn't freak out, puke, or go flying off into the street because a meth head likely put it all together:
Friday is Maddie's school fall festival...stay tuned!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Tweet! Tweet! September 2010

I'm not sure if Twitter is going to keep all my tweets forever and ever. Because they are often little snippets about my very glamours and exciting daily life (and aren't good enough stories to make a blog post), I will preserve them on this blog monthly. Behold! September 2010:

This is what happens when I try to get some work done in the evenings. Work blocker! via ÜberTwitter

My Bucket List: #bucketlist via web

The book "Twisters" scared my kids @wegivebooks. Need to double check that I'm in the right age bracket next time we read a "science" book. 6 minutes ago via web

First Parent-Teacher Conference: Maddie asks too many questions and talks too much (loudly). Other than that, she's doing well. about 6 hours ago via ÜberTwitter

I like to SPIN sale my five year old. She tells me I ask too many questions. I wonder if my customers would agree? #SPINselling 5:47 PM Sep 28th via ÜberTwitter

7 Questions To Finding Your True Passion 8:18 AM Sep 28th via TweetMeme

Need something quick for dinner? Try one of our 5-ingredient vegetarian recipes: #MeatlessMonday 3:45 PM Sep 27th via HootSuite Retweeted by you and 4 others

I'm happy to have a job that allows me to enjoy this cool and clear Fall day. Fresh air is good for the soul. #grateful 2:46 PM Sep 27th via ÜberTwitter

I'm pretty sure if Maddie's college education doesn't send us to the poor house, her love of stinky and expensive cheeses will. 7:21 PM Sep 26th via ÜberTwitter

Recovery of my hard drive (and baby pictures) was successful. Whew! People, BACK IT UP! 3:16 PM Sep 26th via Twitterrific

Our desktop computer crashed. Bye bye baby pictures, or can it be recovered? 8:00 PM Sep 25th via Twitterrific

Zak has a new baby, and I'm just so thankful that I didn't have to give birth to this one. 3:46 PM Sep 25th via ÜberTwitter

I'm reading to 75 kids on 10/7! RT @WeGiveBooks Read "The Snow Day" now! Give a book so a child can #readfortherecord 7:59 PM Sep 22nd via Twitterrific

Maddie is obsessed with silly bandz! 5:32 PM Sep 22nd via ÜberTwitter

Every man in this deli has a gun in a holster. This IS Texas, and I just discovered I'm next door to the police headquarters. #nervous 12:56 PM Sep 22nd via ÜberTwitter

Good thing I'm not a smoker because it's so humid in San Antonio today, I probably couldn't get it to light! 11:22 AM Sep 22nd via ÜberTwitter

The girl loves her red boots! 7:57 AM Sep 21st via ÜberTwitter

When you expect good things to happen, they will. #secret 4:26 PM Sep 18th via ÜberTwitter

I'm not a fan of road trips (even without the girls). #boring 3:37 PM Sep 18th via ÜberTwitter

Brooke (3) engages in positive self talk to convince herself she can hold it until she sits on the potty. "I can do it, I'm a big girl!" 3:00 PM Sep 18th via ÜberTwitter

Love, no doubt about it. RT @EducationNut Would you rather be rich in money or rich in love? What if you had to choose? 9:53 AM Sep 18th via Twitterrific

When you realize that everyone in the world matters as much as you then you'll matter a whole lot more to the world. 1:35 PM Sep 17th via HootSuite Retweeted by you and 26 others

Embarrassed to be Texan RT @HuffPostPol Texas Says textbks Are ‘Tainted’ With 'Pro-Islamic,Anti-Christian Distortions’ 8:11 PM Sep 16th via Twitterrific
Successful people chase their passion, not their pension. 5:20 PM Sep 15th via HootSuite Retweeted by you and 50 others

Maddie just yelled her first curse word in the correct context. I blame #kindergarten and not our #parenting. #damnit 9:29 PM Sep 15th via ÜberTwitter

Brooke and Maddie were star patients at the dentist. It was Brooke's 1st time. She was well prepared for what to expect.#dentist #parenting 9:53 PM Sep 14th via ÜberTwitter

So happy to see that @heb has started to stock Honey Crisp apples! This means Fall is here! 1:12 PM Sep 14th via Twitterrific

#youknowyoureoldwhen you're not sure what channel MTV is on and when you watch the #vma's you don't recognize some performers. 5:57 PM Sep 12th via ÜberTwitter

Pearl pomegranate vodka, club soda, splash of sprite. #myfavoritedrink (don't hate on my Pearl until you try it!) 9:12 PM Sep 11th via ÜberTwitter

Down by the River: 8:45 PM Sep 10th via web

We read Ladybug Girl at the Beach last night! Thx! RT@WeGiveBooks 2 more Ladybug Girl books are up,but you have to be logged in to read them 7:44 PM Sep 10th via Twitterrific

Kid Art: Sister in a Hot Air Ballon edition #parenting #art 8:33 PM Sep 7th via web

Hey @NEISD! Got anything to twitter about as a TROPICAL STORM passes through?! Use twitter to communicate with parents! 5:48 PM Sep 7th via Twitterrific

#hermine is about to pass right over #SanAntonio! 50 mph wind gusts are expected. 3-8 inches of rain thru tonight. 12:01 PM Sep 7th via ÜberTwitter

I gave Brooke (3) my water bottle to wash down some almonds. Instead, she spit her almond slobber into my bottle b/c she didn't like them. 9:58 AM Sep 7th via ÜberTwitter

Guess who loves their Aunt Terra?! 4:52 PM Sep 5th via


Zak was yelling at the #texastech #football game on TV and Maddie (5) said, "Dad, they can't hear you, so stop yelling at the TV please!" 4:03 PM Sep 5th via ÜberTwitter

Is this #oakwiltdisease? This tree was alive and green four weeks ago! It's dead! #hillcountry 6:45 PM Sep 4th via ÜberTwitter

Brooke (3) loves to read @usweekly on a lazy Saturday. 4:04 PM Sep 4th via ÜberTwitter

An old lady stopped to tell me I "parked wrong" today, and I may have been crooked but still in the lines! 11:32 AM Sep 4th via ÜberTwitter

I will to add this to my #bucketlist. RT @USATODAY 10 great ziplines across the USA 9:15 PM Sep 2nd via Twitterrific

After 9 days of #duallanguagekinder, Maddie already knows more than I do. My 2 yrs of #Spanish were just a distraction from my social life. 6:12 PM Sep 2nd via Twitterrific